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Canadian Music Industry Calls For Internet Regulation, Website Blocking

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  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:28PM (#46036169) Homepage Journal

    So, basically a gun to people's heads while the other hand rifles through their pockets.

    Greed. The one thing that's in truly infinite supply.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fortunately there are a few independent ISP's out there that possess their own howitzers. We were approached by certain law enforcement agencies first to invite us to participate, then stupidly they tried threatening us. Fortunately for us, we are the ONLY internet connection for most of our customers, we specialize in under served and unserved communities (~15k households). Our response to this threat was to send a letter to our customers that unless the government backs off, we will have no choice but to

  • by ADRA (37398)

    Google: buy back to black

    Seems that search engines somehow work without out already... who woulda thunk it.

  • a magic pony that lays gold eggs.

  • by sandbagger (654585) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:32PM (#46036221)

    They get a tax subsidy in Canada, new copyright legislation protecting broken-in-principle DRM and now they want search engines -- which make more money than them -- to be subservient to their industry. Wonderful.

    • by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:50PM (#46036477)
      No one is buying blank cassette tapes or CD-ROM/DVD's anymore. Waaaaa we need more money!
      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Don't they get money for MP3 player and memory card sales? It strikes me that nothing will make people think piracy is okay, like being billed for the music in advance through a tax on the device they buy.

        • by Guspaz (556486)

          According to the CBSA: Yes, there is a tax on iPods. Or a tariff, more precisely.

        • Don't they get money for MP3 player and memory card sales? It strikes me that nothing will make people think piracy is okay, like being billed for the music in advance through a tax on the device they buy.

          The point is, if you're paying the tariff in advance and it's legal to copy, it's not piracy; it's legal copying of music available under copyright law to citizens of the country (and is already paid for through kickbacks to ASCAP et al). The people who lose out are the indy artists who aren't signed up to get a cut of the tariff -- because their material IS being pirated, but nobody realizes it. Of course, these are the groups who usually give away their music for free and make money in other ways.

          • by Dunbal (464142) *

            The people who lose out are the indy artists who aren't signed up to get a cut of the tariff

            At last count, all of the artists. I mean, they can sign up. They just have to go down to the basement in one of the store-rooms in the back of a locked filing cabinet in a locked lavatory with the "Beware of the Leopard" sign... and fill out the appropriate form (Sorry Douglas...)

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        No one is buying blank cassette tapes or CD-ROM/DVD's anymore. Waaaaa we need more money!

        If no one is buying those forms of media anymore how is the collection arm still raking in money hand-over-fist? They've got one hell of a pile just sitting there from the last year.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:27PM (#46036901)

      Don't you see? Any money you don't spend on new music from them is a lost sale. Those lost sales mean you must be pirating music instead because you wouldn't be using the money for food or something nonessential when you could use it to buy more music. Lost sales like that will cause the record executives to starve to death (after they go through their caviar stockpile). How dare you not open your wallets and empty the contents into the recording industry's bank accounts!

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:41PM (#46036351)

    If they are really worried about piracy, they need to keep teens apart -- one of my teenaged relatives has a half dozen or so usb drives laying around with songs he's traded with various friends -- She's got a music library of over 10,000 songs (though oddly, she only seems to listen to 10 of those, over and over again). They trade entire music libraries at school, thousands of songs at a time. So no matter how tightly they lock down the internet, music will continue to be traded.

    I'm a lost cause, the mainstream industry isn't likely to get much of my money no matter what they do. I'm well out of my teen years, and about the only albums I buy are for small regional artists, and I usually get them at concerts or direct from the artists. I already own several hundred CD's from the groups I listened to in my teens and 20's, and rarely hear a mainstream group I want to buy a CD from today -- Pandora and Spotify are good enough.

    • by wasteoid (1897370)
      They should eat graham crackers to quell their unhealthy carnal urges.
    • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:50PM (#46036475)

      Just make music trading paraphernalia illegal

      This is the TRUE solution. CD/DVDs, USB sticks and drives, computers.
      All of if has to go. Shutdown the libraries. Burn the contents.

      We MUST go back to the 50s where all music came from the good old music labels. They know good music and how to make it.

      The church of Profits commands you!
      It for the good of unborn artists in the future. /S

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And if she is Canadian, sharing that music would be perfectly legal in accordance with the Copyright Act, so long as you are not providing for "distribution". They charge a fee on media to compensate.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I've said this years ago. As hard disk space increases sneakernet will eventually outpace the Internet once again. It's amazing how we went from

      Sneakernet because Internet connections were too slow

      to

      Internet because Internet connections became faster

      back to

      Sneakernet because disk space is dirt cheap now and trying to search for your songs one by one is inconvenient vs just copying thousands of songs from your friends and having them copy all your songs onto a portable USB flash drive you take around with yo

      • American here, we're 1/9th of the way there.
    • by bitt3n (941736)

      If they are really worried about piracy, they need to keep teens apart

      This idea has promise. After all, keeping teens apart has long been used to stifle a more primal kind of information transfer. Indeed, hasn't some part of the human genome been patented yet? Why haven't the fundies tried to crack down on fornication using copyright law? A limited-license agreement could be written into marriage contracts.

  • As broken as Americas copyright law is, Canada seems to be engaging their retard-afterburners and are really going for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nemyst (1383049)
      Don't put us all in the same basket please. There's the Harper government and the idiots who elected them, and then there's the rest of us who just want them to fuck off and leave the country alone before we turn into the US but worse. There was a time where Canada was a leader in diplomacy, environment, science, copyright, social policies and much more. Now we're slaves to whatever industry Harper is licking the butt of at the time, any other consideration (such as the well-being of the citizens under his
      • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:55PM (#46036529)

        Now you know how U.S. Americans feel when everyone lumps us all together, as if we're all cool with the corporatist pricks who get elected these days.

        • It's slightly easier to bag on you because of the differences in our electoral systems. ~65-70% of the people that voted didn't vote for the current Conservative government. The Parliamentary system coupled with first-past-the-post voting means that highly contested ridings can go to someone that only got 30-40% of the vote.

          But being lumped together isn't any fun, I'll grant you. Good luck.

          • The Parliamentary system coupled with first-past-the-post voting means that highly contested ridings can go to someone that only got 30-40% of the vote.

            First-past-the-post can be made harder to game by simply allowing voters to vote for multiple candidates [wikipedia.org]. Or would you prefer that districts/ridings be constructed such that they're not really contested, as became common with the recent Redistricting Majority Project round of gerrymandering in the United States?

            • I'm not saying there aren't solutions, but the simplistic method that we use is obviously critically flawed. :)

          • It's slightly easier to bag on you because of the differences in our electoral systems. ~65-70% of the people that voted didn't vote for the current Conservative government. The Parliamentary system coupled with first-past-the-post voting means that highly contested ridings can go to someone that only got 30-40% of the vote.

            But being lumped together isn't any fun, I'll grant you. Good luck.

            Plus, in the US, taking up arms in revolution against corrupt government is enshrined in the constitution -- in Canada, we have to ask the Queen of England to intervene.

            • by Holi (250190)

              please quote the part of the constitution that makes overthrowing the government (revolution) legal.

              • by dk20 (914954)
                As i posted above, i think the constitutions definition of "treason" would prevent it.

                Might be hard to overthrow and not "levying War against"
            • in Canada, we have to ask the Queen of England to intervene.

              No. This is a common fallacy. We have to ask the Queen of Canada to intervene. The fact that she is the same person as the Queen of England is irrelevant.

            • by dryeo (100693)

              Remember Canada was formed in response to the American Civil war. The Fathers of Confederation well saw the problems with arms being taken up in a democracy.
              The Queen of the UK who I think you meant can't intervene after we repatriated our Constitution back in '82. We're left with the Queen of Canada who is currently the same person but doesn't have to be. Legally if George has a girl then a boy we'll have a King while the UK will have a Queen, unless the Constitution is amended.

          • by Mashiki (184564)

            So I'm not following you, are you saying that FPP is bad because the conservatives got elected, or are you saying that FPP is bad in general? If you look back in political history the political party with the greatest control of canadian politics has been the Liberal party. And let's be realistic, there's plenty of flaws including the day that Trudeau effectively broke the government in the 70's, by calling a parliamentary vote after everyone went home--breaking the notification rules because he wanted t

        • > U.S. Americans

          I hadn't really thought of it before, I'm so used to just Americans as the inhabitants of the USA, but you are right - there are also Canadian Americans, Mexican Americans, Costa Rican Americans, Panamanian Americans, Bolivian Americans etc as well all living in their respective countries.

      • Are you sure you're a Canadian? You don't sound very polite.
      • by johnnys (592333)

        At least have the decency to mention the important thing the Harper government got RIGHT: Limiting the scope of how hard the CRIA can screw the individual downloader. We see HUGE penalties in the USA for poor people getting nailed for "copyright infringement" but at least in Canada Harper has limited that to $5,000CDN for "all infringements involved" so no-one has to lose their house over downloading a few songs to listen to at home. That is a HUGE benefit and protection to the average person here in Canada

        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          It's true, the recent changes were not completely bad, although they removed some fair use and made digital lock circumvention illegal.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      You know, we're not exactly happy about it either.

      It's the Canadian copyright lobby, which is an arm of the US copyright lobby, petitioning government for a pony.

      Once in Canada they get their pony, they can then go back to the US or to other countries and demand the same kind of pony.

      Since US foreign policy and trade policy largely lets industry writes the briefings and the legislation (often quite literally), this is essentially US industries writing laws for their own benefit.

      So, from our perspective, the

      • Then do your duty to humanity and don't give them a pony.

        > US copyright lobby is really pissing us off

        Us too.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        the US copyright lobby is really pissing us off

        Oddly it's not just them, there's also the environmental groups doing the same thing. There's a massive crackdown going on by the CRA against all foreign interest via lobbying and donations of money.

        • by dryeo (100693)

          Be nice to stop the Chinese from interfering in the Provincial and Federal elections but I doubt that it'll happen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:44PM (#46036389)

    One word: Bieber

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Farmer Tim (530755)

      You’re being unreasonably kind to Celine Dion and Bryan Adams.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:44PM (#46036393)

    From the Fine Article ...

    Music is becoming a hobby, not a career.

    Translation: "We can no longer buy popularity with pop music and no longer manufacture the latest fad of boy-bands or girl-bands. These indie bands can do it cheaper, and that cuts us, the middle man, out of the picture! We don't get our fair share from YouTube, etc."

    "Oh Noes! People are using this internet to freely share things and we aren't getting our cut ! Must maintain artificial scarcity of the source else we can't over-charge for numbers! Suckers! Er, mean, 'customers'."

    Never mind the fact that the easier it is for people to find music, video, that is akin to free advertising.

    Nah, let's shit on our potential customers and treat them like pseudo-thieves because "How dare they share something they value with someone else!"

    Only cowards use censorship

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Music has always been more of a hobby than a career. Most musicians are either amateurs who play or sing for fun (or in some cases academic credit), or semi-pros who get paid to perform or teach but can't afford to quit their day job. And most professional musicians' primary source of income is teaching amateur musicians.

      A 3-4 person bar band that is getting at least $2000 a week (and not spending it on booze or drugs or hookers) is more-or-less staying afloat. Everyone else is either broke or has another s

  • It was the plan all along. First you establish the ability to block and censor. Then you find an excuse no one can NOT support (stopping kiddie porn). Then you move on to the obvious next level (we must protect our children from porn in general!), then intellectual property (it's illegal!!).

    Next up, blocking whistleblower sites and newspapers that publish whistleblower revelations.

    Soon enough, all political speech that challenges or threatens the government status quo.

  • Not a Canadian... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529@y a h o o . com> on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:49PM (#46036469)

    ...but I thought that the Canadian RIAA had a tax tacked onto blank storage media that was supposed to help pay for the pirated tracks. Did that disappear?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      Of course not. They want their cake, and to be able to eat it to.

      Actually, they want our cake, and they want the government to entrench their business mode, and generally spoil the internet to benefit them.

      This is buggy-whip makers trying to get laws passed which says the roads need to be taxed and regulated to support their business model.

      And, history tells me, it's US lobbying companies footing some of the bill for this, and 'helpfully' writing the wish-list of things they'd like to see. And, then once

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      Nah, but they didn't manage to get a tax on internet connections too so they're pissed.
    • Just the people buying blank CDs. Blank CDs are a pretty niche thing anymore and certainly not normally used to trade music. Regardless, it's a give an inch take a mile mentality.
    • There is a levy on blank CDs. (I can't remember the last time I bought a spindle of CDs). It used to be about 30 cents a disk, which is insane considering bulk CD-R cost about 25 cents. At least they didn't go full retard and charge for MP3 players. At the time the levy was introduced, MP3 players were about 128 to 256 MB capacity and I can recall fees of $5 to $10 on MP3 players (based on 5 cents/Megabyte) being considered. The music industry would love to collect $800 on a 16GB ipod nano.
    • Progresion (Score:2, Troll)

      by DarthVain (724186)

      They charged a tax on all storage media regardless of if any music bytes were ever spilled on it. However, I would imagine that the sales of CD/DVD media is quickly drying up, they they are not making their pound of flesh. They still get it from devices, but they don't provide the numbers. It was easy to see 5 years ago that everything would be moving to online content both music and movies, and that physical media is pretty provincial. So now comes the next big fight, trying to force legislate profits from

  • by acidradio (659704) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:52PM (#46036507)

    The recording industry, the biggest bunch of middleman thieves ever, is finally losing its free ride. You don't NEED a record company anymore, you can be your own! If they didn't think they were dying they wouldn't be violently throwing tantrums everywhere - lobbying for really radical unilateral changes to the law, suing regular everyday people for "piracy" to the point of bankruptcy, hassling bars/restaurants (usually mom and pop operations, barely making it as it is) into paying commercial licensing fees for music, etc.

    A band now can cut their own album and sell it on iTunes, Amazon or a host of other music sites and retain a lot more of the proceeds. Back in the day even large, famous acts were getting stiffed by the record companies! Thanks in part to the way that record companies have pushed musicians up against the wall now for many years the market is now to a point where the artists don't even make money on the albums themselves. Instead they make the money at concerts, both on tickets and on merchandise. An artist now almost has to *give away* the music (many seem to - look on Youtube for all of the "full album" videos) as the loss leader in hopes of getting people to their concert. Artists can post samples on Youtube (at no cost) to drive sales and exposure. The record company middleman has less and less importance in a marketplace like this.

    I'm glad to see that more and more musicians are standing up for themselves and taking advantage of the offerings that don't involve RIAA-related entities. If the entity doesn't add value they shouldn't have a role in the marketplace anymore.

    • You don't NEED a record company anymore, you can be your own!

      If a recording artist is his own label, how would he go about getting his music onto FM or satellite radio or onto the playlists of popular Internet streaming music providers, such as Pandora, Spotify, and foreign counterparts? And how should a songwriter make sure that he didn't accidentally copy parts of a popular song when writing his own? (See, for example, the "My Sweet Lord" lawsuit.) RIAA-affiliated labels add value through promotion and through their affiliated music publishers.

      • If a recording artist is his own label, how would he go about getting his music onto FM or satellite radio or onto the playlists of popular Internet streaming music providers, such as Pandora, Spotify, and foreign counterparts?

        Information for artists submitting to Pandora [pandora.com]

        Information for artists submitting to Spotify [spotifyartists.com]

        Getting your music on iTunes [apple.com]

        In short, that depends on the service they want their music on. Different services have different procedures.

        And how should a songwriter make sure that he didn't accidentally copy parts of a popular song when writing his own?

        As you so helpfully pointed out, they don't/can't always. The human mind is prone to subconscious influence; there's no way around that.

        RIAA-affiliated labels add value through promotion and through their affiliated music publishers.

        True, although it's debatable whether the value that they add is greater than the cost that they impose. The artists that they promote are

        • And how should a songwriter make sure that he didn't accidentally copy parts of a popular song when writing his own?

          As you so helpfully pointed out, they don't/can't always. The human mind is prone to subconscious influence; there's no way around that.

          I've calculated that there are about 105 million possible legally distinct melodies. (If you want, I can show my work.) So if there's no way around eventually being sued for accidental infringement, what can an indie songwriter do to make sure the inevitable lawsuit doesn't bankrupt him?

          • I already said it. I don't believe that it's always feasible for an indie songwriter to defend themselves against a lawsuit for accidental infringement. Even if there's no real case against them, a wealthier artist or label could essentially pay to grind them into the ground.
    • I still think there's a future for labels, but it's a much reduced one. Instead of the label being the end-all-and-be-all for the band, it will be a glorified advertising agency that a band contracts with. All copyrights will remain with the band and the band will be able to leave for another label and retain their old music. The label will make money as the band makes money. Of course, they won't make nearly as much and this means many record label executives will lose jobs. Excuse me while I mourn th

    • by Anonymous Coward
      They still have to kiss Clear Channel's ass if they want any kind of national exposure or airplay.
  • What about highways? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:56PM (#46036547)

    If Canada feels it's important to block public access to the internet because a few commit illegal acts, then why wouldn't they block public access to the highways for the same reason?

    If we start/continue to block/disallow everything that can be used for unlawful purposes, pretty soon, everything will be blocked/disallowed.

  • Media Tax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MCROnline (1027312) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @12:58PM (#46036567)
    I assume that if all these governments from around the globe have successfully 'blocked' all these nasty web sites offering pirated content, then it stands to reason that the recording industries tax on blank media no longer would be appropriate or relevant, so we can have cheaper blank media again?
    • I can finally buy some cheap CD-ROMS! Now I can really use my DISCMAN!

      Gonna turn that BASSBOOST all the way up man! :p

  • by slapout (93640) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @02:53PM (#46038003)

    ...Canadians are calling for the government to ban music industry associations...

  • I'm David Adams. I write fiction for a living (http://www.amazon.com/David-Adams/e/B006S1GSXI/?tag=wwwlacunavers-20 is me). So where's my money?

    Sure, I'm Australian and not Canadian, but where's my tax dollars handout? I could really use that. After all, I'm a publisher too and not just a writer, so I should surely qualify for some money. My books get pirated after all, they appear on heaps of pirating sites, so where's my share of the tax on blank media?

    Again, let's just pretend that I'm Canadian for a sec

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